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Showing most liked content since 11/12/19 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    I agree about the quality. Eric Sweet and I made what I believe to be the second ascent in November 2002, in 'sportier' conditions than currently and it is one of my all time favorite mixed winter alpine climbs. Up there with NE Buttress of J'berg in winter. I have some photos of our ascent on summitpost.org: https://www.summitpost.org/northwest-ice-couloir/688985 for comparison. The cruxes were climbing steep, thin ice past big chockstones. I even belayed in a cave formed by one. We were both climbing on Black Diamond Shrikes and Charlet-Moser S-12s, which did not fit Eric's first gen Scarpa Freneys. He lost a crampon below the the last steep ice pitch below the summit. Rather than surrender the fantastic lead, he climbed the rig with one crampon on the ice, the other boot scumming the rock.
  2. 3 points
    Climbed it yesterday and found slightly different conditions. Due to Tuesdays precip, there was a fair bit of mostly well bonded wind blown snow on the glaciers, this made for slower travel. The route got a lot of wind transfer, and most of the cruiser neve for other folks was deep wallowing and for us. The ice steps were still tons of fun with the occasional spin drift to the face. Dare I say the thing was picked out. I figured instead of writing yet another NW Couloir TR I'd just comment here...
  3. 2 points
    Trip: Big Bear! - Brushtissima Trip Date: 11/11/2019 Trip Report: With all this attention on the NW couloir on Eldorado the past few weeks, Kit and I succeeded on a smash and grab ascent of BIG BEAR! last weekend. He is in the midst of a noble mission to climb all the Cascadian peaks visible from his office in Everett and I'm well, I'm just a bit "special". We happened to catch it in "near perfect" conditions, I am happy to report, and suspect others may be lining up during the next fine weather spell this week. The ankle biting huckleberry have shed their leaves, leaving them only 50% as annoying as they are in high summer. And, most all the snow is gone, meaning one shouldn't worry about tiring themselves out kicking steps up straightforward snow slopes. To top it off, all of the flagging has been eaten by deer, meaning that a "fair means" ascent is nearly guaranteed. Why this brushy beast isn't more popular, I'll never know. Or, maybe it is popular? There is no register so it is tough to figure how many people are as "savvy" as us. All I know is that the 4130 isn't going to get less brushy in the next few years, so if you want either Liberty or BIG BEAR! in the next lifetime or two, you'll want to go now. Just don't expect flagging or the Instagram hordes to show you the way. Gear Notes: eye protection, leather gloves, whiskey. Ice axe, crampons, and helmet some part of the year. Approach Notes: I somehow deleted my GPX track, not that it will help you much. Just look at the image in the TR for an idea of where to go. Just make sure you don't miss the Moffitt Step!
  4. 2 points
    I love that the cc.com effect is back. Many moons ago it was a common thing to see a crowd the next weekend on whatever had a bunch of online traffic during the week.
  5. 2 points
    Trip: Colfax Peak - Cosley-Houston Trip Date: 11/10/2019 Trip Report: Not going to do a long TR here since there are plenty of TRs on the Cosley-Houston. This will just be a quick update on conditions for those interested. First off, I was wrong when I posted a week or two ago that the approach is heinous/convoluted. You just have to stay a bit lower now and wrap around to the base, it's not an issue as long as you don't go up too early. I guess I, and several other parties, tried to go up too early and got blocked by cracks so people thought it was going to be difficult. See the photo below outlining the current approach. Anyway, Eric Carter, Paul Greenwood, and I left the parking lot at 4:11, tried the new glacier approach, it went smoothly and we were soon at the base of the route. The first pitch is great, decent pro (better than last year). The crux pillar is pretty full-on right now. Maybe 20+ft of dead vertical ice, pretty chandeliered at parts which makes sticks less confidence-inspiring and pro a little trickier. Right now, the vertical section of the pillar is perhaps twice (or maybe 1.5x) as tall as it was last year. It felt very hard to me and 4s normally feel hard, so maybe its a 4+ or maybe it's just that I'm not in ice shape (mentally) right now. Anyway, if you go up there, expect it to be hard and bring the screws to make it "safe". Above there, the snow traverse below the next step is in (barely) but the ice also looks climbable. We opted to not climb it because there was a lot of stuff coming down, including golf ball size rocks and smaller ice, but it looks fun if you can get it in, the top out looked a little thin so a belay might be tricky. Above there it was a cruise, perhaps a little thin for the last 200ft, one 5ft section of actual ice over rock just before the top. We topped out 7hrs after leaving the car. Finally, the descent is straight forward and the major crevasse we were worried about proved to be a non-issue because it's filled in enough at one spot that it can be downclimbed. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, I'll post a video of leading the crux pillar on my insta @porter.mcmichael Also, someone else got to the route before us as we were following several day old tracks up the route, awesome! Additionally, another team could be seen starting up the route as we were descending through the football field. Directions through the glacier: Polish is looking good... Anyone want a belayer up there? First pitch On the thrilling pillar... Entering the tight couloir to the top: Couloir near the top: View of Lincoln: Looking down over the problem crack: Looking back up: Lastly, a few route close-ups, sorry we didn't get an actual photo of the pillar! Thanks to Eric for a lot of those photos! Last time I climbed this route was exactly a year ago and the conditions were very different, as you can see here! Gear Notes: 12 screws, could use one or three less, brought a picket but didn't use it. Approach Notes: See above!
  6. 1 point
    Routes like these aren't consistently in all the time so it makes sense that once it gets reported as "in", the masses will appear! It took me several gos to make it happen over about a decade or so. Good on everyone knocking it off so efficiently!
  7. 1 point
  8. 1 point
    Nooksack Cirque had endless possibilities last week for the adventurous, intrepid mixed master who doesn't mind significant objective risk. Pics taken on 10/31/19: View from the Trog: At the base: A buttress on Jagged Ridge: Seahpo/Cloudcap:
  9. 1 point
    Trip: Araucanía, Bio-Bio, Ñuble (Chile) - Lonquimay, Llaima, Antuco, Nevados de Chillán, et al Trip Date: 10/01/2019 Trip Report: I enjoyed two great weeks of skiing in Central-South Chile with Joe recently. We left Seattle on the evening of 9/29, skied our first turns on the afternoon of 10/1, last turns on 10/10, and I started my travel odyssey the next day, arriving back home on the 13th. This is the usual prime volcano season, but, as in the PNW, storms can come through at any time. The mountains received a strong and unusually cold storm right before we got there, so rather than skiing the corn we thought we would, we had to make do with dry powder. Luckily the weather was stable enough to get in a number of good summits. As we headed North, following the better weather, the snowpack changed into more typical spring conditions. Big highlights were skiing in the Araucaría (monkey puzzle tree) forests, the quality of the snow, some excellent food finds, and spending time with Chilenos. I'll let the photos speak for themselves. Lonquimay & Corralco ski area Lift-served pow at 5 pm Pow off the top of Lonquimay 4000 ft later Llaima Big graupel from thunderstorms the afternoon before Llaima's impressive summit crater with Lanín (left) and Rukapillán (right) Thousands of feet of moderately steep pow Tolhuaca (which we did not ski) Pucón vibes Antuco Freezing rain crust, Laguna del Laja, and peaks E Views of Sierra Velluda (right, near), volcanoes Callaqui, Lonquimay, Llaima, and Tolhuaca (left to right in distance) Great chalk transitioning into corn The road to Antuco Nevados de Chillán Antuco in the distance, "mountaineering" snow Alpenglow & ash coming from the Chillán Nuevo, Nevados left and Viejo right. View from Onai Thanks, Chopo & Fran! For those of you interested in making a trip like this happen, the detailed beta is pretty easy to come by. If you are perhaps interested in a guided trip, Joe will be offering one next year through Pro Guiding Service with similar dates. The focus will be on keeping it budget friendly and focused on good skiing. Some other little plugs: Coni at Masajes Pucón did an excellent job helping my tight muscles on our down day, highly recommend if you're in Pucón Onai hostel, run by Chopo Díaz, who is one of the most decorated freeriders in Chile, is an awesome place to stay in Las Trancas, near Chillán Gear Notes: Standard + ski lifts at Corralco Approach Notes: Aeromexico -> Santiago, Sky Airlines -> Temuco, rental Subaru XC
  10. 1 point
    WOW - things change. I made it into this area the summer of 1981, first, 4th of July weekend when we skied everywhere in the area on perfect corn and once again in the fall when we approached from the Suiattle and up the Honeycomb. No skis this time but still plenty of snow and ice. The glaciers looked huge and permanent - not so much I guess. Your photo of the Whitechuck looked like a whole different world than I remember. Saw no one until the return to Kennedy Hot Springs. Thanks so much for posting this.
  11. 1 point
    whoa. that's eerie. tahoe city seems like a nice place to be right about now.
  12. 1 point
  13. 1 point
    Stunning photos of mountain grandeur. Thank you for sharing. Our ice is disappearing. Rainier may be an iceless slag pile in my lifetime. Sobering. This article from the Seattle Times yesterday shows some dramatic melting of the Bering Sea far more than I would have expected so soon. Bottom temps 12F (!) higher than 9 years ago!
  14. 1 point
    Wow: Talk about glacial recession! At least the crampons didn't get a free ride!
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